Trans USA Cycling Tour  pg 9
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This is the Trans-USA Cycling Tour for Bill
June 7& 8th Spent in Norman, OK with mom and
June 9th, 2003
Odometer - 2041
Headed out from Norman, OK on HWY 9.  It was a
nice day, temperatures got into the low 90s.  I had
left some gear with my parents that I hadn't used in
2 weeks figuring I wouldn't use it the rest of the
way.  While in Norman I made a couple of tire
adjustments.  I put the 26 cm Armadillo back on the
front and bought a Continental 2000 touring tire for
the back.  I would find out in a couple of days that
the Armadillo had acquired some type of defect and
would eventually cause me 4 flats. I always inspect
the tire before I re-mount it but couldn't find the
defect until I was sitting on the front porch of my
sister's house in Hot Springs a number of days and
tubes later.  I made it to Arrowhead Park in the
Lake Eufaula Lake area and pitched a tent for the
night.  Talk about being whipped.  I still can't figure
out if I like the roll I'm getting on the bike with the
tire change.
BOD- A terrific day to ride.
COD-Ice cream sandwiches

June 10th, 2003
Odometer 2153
The day started slowly because of the long ride the
day before and I felt like I was working extra hard
to get anywhere.  In Eufaula I dropped down to
take HWY 31. Had breakfast at a small diner.  The
owner was a HUGE John Wayne fan.  A question I
never should of asked him, propelled an answer
well though my breakfast and a fair amount of
patience afterwards.  Having been fully nourished I
went south on HW 82.  At Lequire I came across a
huge "hill" someone had stuck in the eastern
landscape of Oklahoma.  I hadn't walked my bike
up a hill until this point, but this hill ended up eating
my lunch.  I had wondered why I hadn't seen any
18 wheelers for a while................duh, they don't
go up this "hill" very well.  I put that experience
behind me and grabbed HW 270, my gateway into
Arkansas, and found more hills.  I ended up
spending the night in the Cedar Lake Campground
in the Winding Stair National forest. This overnight
location took me 8 miles off my path, which was
way too much.  During the night I got pummeled
by a rainstorm, but managed to remain relatively
dry.  I listened to the weather report in the morning
and the rain was supposed to break between 8 and
9 o'clock.  On the way to the restroom I ran into a
guy that was seeking shelter form the rain.  He was
also on a bit of a holiday because at 7:30 in the
morning he was engaged in full consumption of Bud
Light and Jim Beam.  He explained how a buddy
had left him overnight as soon as the storm hit and
he was waiting for another buddy to pick him up so
they could drive to Shreveport to do some
gambling.  I heard this agenda repeated over and
over for about 20 minutes. (I was also sheltering
from the rain and kind of stuck in the bathroom
with my "bud" and his "Buds").  He offered me a
beer but I thought it might be more entertaining to
watch him finished his cache.

June 11th, 2003 - Spiders and Snakes segment
Odometer 2261
I left Cedar Lakes Campground carrying what
seemed to be 8-10 pounds of rain water weight and
retraced 8 miles before any positive mileage for the
day.  Crossed the Arkansas - OK boarder about
11:00 am, which was later than I wanted.  The day
started out humid, as the rain might have suggested,
and only got more muggy.  The day took me
through some of the beautiful hill country of
Arkansas (which is great if you're in an air
conditioned car but somewhat uncomfortable if
your on a bike carrying 60 pounds and pedaling
your butt off, especially with high humidity and low
90 temperatures)  "was the desert really that
bad........hmmmm".  I got into Hot Springs where I
encountered some of the most stressful biking
conditions.  Picture this shoulder on the
side of the road to ride on and an "aging" driving
population.  THAT'S a recipe for an accident!  
Called sis and she rescued me for the night.

This segment was titled Spiders and Snakes
because of the tarantulas and snakes that I met up
with in course of the day.
What's a typical day like- You wake up
with daylight in you face or a noise such as
croaking frogs, roosters, fellow noisy
campers, diesel trucks firing up or the sounds
of a close highway.  Yes, you wake up sore
and stiff and try to stretch some of the aches
away.  You find something to stuff in your
mouth because you know your body will use
anything you give it.  I try to find some protein
in the morning usually some eggs at a diner or
a Mc D's.  I also try to have some donuts in
the morning (Dad's diet).  I've learned to
unpack as little as possible to shorten the
morning start-up time. My goal is to try to get
60 miles in before noon, this is to make the
afternoon easier.  I've usually mapped out a lot
of my route the night before.  It might sound a
little strange, but it takes me about an hour to
warm up and get my serious bike legs working.

After about 20 miles I break for a drink of
soda or Gatorade.  I like caffeine products
during the day because I read something while
I was training for a marathon that caffeine
helps with aerobic activity.  (That's why the
goo packs come with caffeine)  Between 11:00
and 1 pm is my lunch window where I look
for some serious calories for lunch.  I try not
to let it get to close to 1:00 because of the
bonk factor through the rest of the afternoon.  
After lunch I usually feel pretty good and on a
typical day you have the southerly winds start
to pick up and you have an opportunity to
make some "easy miles" (that's a relative
term).  I'm always catching a 5 -10 minute
rest during parts of the day.  Just a 5-10
minute rest can make you feel stronger when
you get back on the bike.  When I stop at
stores to get drinks and snacks I usually go to
the restroom and wash my face and arms to
get the road grime off and it helps a hell of a
lot.  In between 2 and 3:00 I start to plan the
over night location.  Some times the overnight
plan is real easy to figure out, other times you
don't know where you will be staying.  That's
when you keep peddling and you hope you get
lucky with a spontaneous campsite, motel
or.........picnic table.  The overnight plan
includes what and where to capture dinner.  
Sometime that's REAL easy also.  Can you say
"pizza delivery?"  Other times you get to finish
the Fritos from lunch (poor planning).  No
matter what day it is you bonk (are physically
wasted) EVERY day.  You are a bit beaten
down and try to remember some of the great
things you saw during the day.  Hopefully
you've located a shower and at the very least
somewhere to take a sponge bath.  You pitch
the tent and unload the bike.  If you're
camping you eat whatever you've gathered for
dinner, look at the map for the next day, and
arrange things in the tent in case you need to
reach for them during the night (flashlight, or a
corkscrew, Ray may be following).  I always
wake up thirsty during the night, so I position
the water bottles close to me.  Sometimes I
watch a small hand held TV for weather

Usually there is no problem falling asleep. I
have had some of the wildest dreams since
being on this trip.  I really haven't had any
cramping during the nights to speak of.  I
usually go to bed sore and wake up3-4 times
during the night, each time I feel a little better
as my body is healing itself.  At daybreak the
journey starts again.

June 12, 13, 14th - Chillin' with the nieces
in Hot Springs
While visiting in Hot Springs Scott, my brother
in-law, educated me in the appearance and
characteristics of the cottonmouth snake.
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